Puff Off, Congress | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Puff Off, Congress 

Also: Conscience vs. The Law, Fair Fail

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Puff Off, Congress
Think of U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz as one of the Three Little Pigs. It's just "a lot of huffing and puffing on Capitol Hill," an American University constitutional law professor told the Associated Press. That was in response to Chaffetz's moral indignation over the District of Columbia's new law legalizing marijuana for personal, noncommercial use. The Republican congressman from Utah and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., threatened "action," like siccing the Justice Department on D.C., suing them or maybe pulling funding for programs in the district. The feds prohibited the City Council from using funds to tax and regulate marijuana. That didn't stop a conference on finding investors and customers from selling out, although pot-based businesses remain illegal under the new law.

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Conscience vs. The Law
The big debate these days is over majority rule vs. minority rights, and it's not an easy discussion. It comes up in just about everything, gay marriage vs. religious rights being the big one. Former Salt Lake City Police Officer Eric Moutsos spoke out recently about his religious right to refuse to ride his motorcycle in the 2014 Utah Pride parade. Yeah, yeah, it wasn't like a gay guy was being assaulted, his rationale went. On another front, some parents are trying to buck the education system and opt their kids out of testing. Some don't like the time testing takes; others fear data collection on their children. Whatever the reasons, the battle is between conscience and the rule of law. There are ways to exercise your conscience, but flouting the law isn't one of them.

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Fair Fail
Whether you're a cow person or not, the Utah Fairpark has a place in history. Now it looks like it's all history and no future. In 2010, the governor had a chance to renew the park's lease. He didn't. The Legislature dragged its feet investing $700,000 in a minor league soccer stadium, and now Real Salt Lake has pulled its offer to build the stadium there and pay the full cost of development. Moving the park has been considered, but since developers aren't salivating at the prospect, it likely won't happen. This is a peculiarly west-side dilemma. With the passing of former Mayor Deedee Corradini, who sought to connect east and west Salt Lake City, it should be time to consider development of the area.

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